In an interview recorded on December 6, 1984, before a live audience of 1000 as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium's Speaking of Music series, Charles Amirkhanian speaks with Laurie Anderson about songs from her album, “Mister Heartbreak”. Anderson discusses the influences on many of the songs on that album including “Kokoku” and “Sharkey's Day”. In addition, the composer explains this album's departure from her former release, “Big Science”, which contained the hit song “O Superman”.
Laurie's sense of humor emerges in stories of her "past" lives, the controversy of extinct animal cloning, and a funny incident with her "clone" being spotted in New York City. Laurie discusses and plays the music of those who have influenced her through the years, including Ken Nordine, Bongo Joe, Henry Fiol as well as her immersion in Cuban music through club visits in uptown New York, and how it has affected her music on her latest album.
Laurie also discusses the origins and variations of the song "O Superman (for Massenet)". She plays a Jules Massenet piece sung by Charles Holland ("O Souverain") then her own "O Superman", as well as various bootleg/cover versions of "O Superman." She discusses the Eventide Harmonizer and illustrates the "three states of a song" by analyzing the song "Its Cold Outside" which was to become "Big Science" and listen to variations of both pieces. Laurie also delves into the transforming nature of technology, takes questions from the audience, and talks about writer William S. Burroughs.
For more detailed program information and to browse other material in the Other Minds Archive visit: radiOM.org